Industry expert Keith Elliot Greenberg chronicles pro wrestling through the most memorable, controversial, and polarizing period of the last two decades
As a new decade dawned, 2020 was supposed to be the best year to be a wrestling fan. Finally, WWE had serious competition in All Elite Wrestling (AEW), and there were viable secondary promotions and a thriving international indie scene. Few in the industry realized that in China, a mysterious virus had begun to spread. By the time a pandemic was declared in March, the business — and the world — was in disarray. For the first time, pro wrestling was no longer seen as escapism, as real-world events intruded on the fantasy. Still, when everything else shut down, wrestling never went away. Despite cancellations and empty arena shows, there were great innovations, like the cinematic match — battles shot to look like movies — and the “ThunderDome,” which replicated the live experience with fan faces surrounding the ring on LED screens. On the indie circuit, matches were held outdoors with spectators separated into socially distanced pods. The entire time, New York Times bestselling author and historian Keith Elliot Greenberg was chronicling the scene, juxtaposing pro wrestling developments with actual news events like the U.S. presidential election and Brexit. The result, Follow the Buzzards: Pro Wrestling in the Age of COVID-19, captures the dread, confusion, and spontaneous creativity of this uncertain era while exploring the long-term consequences.
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Keith Elliot Greenberg is a New York Times bestselling author and television producer. A columnist for wrestling magazine Inside The Ropes, he previously co-authored the autobiographies of Freddie Blassie, Ric Flair, and “Superstar” Billy Graham. Follow the Buzzards picks up where Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Wrestling Revolution left off. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Published: October 2022
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.
“A timely, often humorous account, well-written in the jargon of the pro wrestling industry. A must for wrestling fans and historians, and recommended for all libraries that serve either population.” — Library Journal
“Really? Brock Lesnar, Boris Johnson, Kenny Omega, and Donald Trump all in one book? Yes! Yes! Yes! The story of how wrestling was body-slammed by the pandemic — and got up before the 3-count!” — Nils Suling, Bild
“Follow the Buzzards is a thorough, engaging, fast read.” — Slam Wrestling
“Well-written and conversational.” — Pro Wrestling Books
“Like Greenberg’s 2020 release, Too Sweet, he has produced another fascinating look at a business that has had to adapt over and over again over the years, with 2020 being no exception.” — POST Wrestling
“While Follow the Buzzards is geared towards wrestling fans, this is as good a book about how a business has been affected by recent events as any I have seen. College business courses should make this required reading for students.” — Good Times Magazine
“A fantastic account and time capsule that perfectly captures an unprecedented era, when pro wrestling soldiered forward just as the world came screeching to a halt. Follow the Buzzards draws pinpoint parallels between mainstream political news and every corner of the pro wrestling industry from WWE, to AEW, to GCW, and everything in between. The wrestling industry has always been a microcosm of society at large, and I challenge anybody to find a book or publication that does a better job telling the story of pro wrestling in the COVID era than Keith Elliot Greenberg.” — Alfred Konuwa, Forbes
“I always hear that pro wrestling imitates life. But during COVID-19, that statement could probably be reversed. Keith has written one of the most important pro wrestling books I’ve ever read. His writing brought back feelings of sitting at a wrestling event before we had to worry about the pandemic, then listening to politicians yell about something they didn’t quite understand after people started to get sick, and finally going back to live wrestling once again. COVID-19 changed all our lives, and it changed the landscape of pro wrestling, and no one describes what we were feeling better than Keith Elliot Greenberg. Whether you are a historian or just a fan, this book is a necessary read.” — Dave LaGreca, Busted Open radio, SiriusXM
“Ultimately, Mr. Keith Elliot Greenberg is a pro’s pro in writing wrestling books and wrestling historians will want this as part of their collection.” — Lion Cub Job Search blog
“It was really interesting to see Keith Elliot Greenberg take all of these world events and arrange them in a chronological history throughout the year. He leaves no stone unturned and does a great job of pointing out the absurdity of some of the crazy stuff that was going on at the time.” — ArcadiaPod
“If you are interested in reading the effects of the pandemic on pro wrestling, Follow The Buzzards covers the world events as a historical writing along with looking at some of the very detailed followings of job losses to scrambling to find newer concepts to engage the fans.” — LanceWrites blog